My Personal Best of List

December 21st, 2008

Life’s little pleasures

I want to be famous. 

There are a lot of reasons I want to be famous.  Free food is one of them.  I suspect that famous people get a lot of free food. 

Adulation is another, although I want to be the kind of famous where no one recognizes you on the street but the second you show up at a big event thrown in your honor, people say things like, “Oh, my god!  It’s her!  I’m so much more excited about meeting her than Julia Roberts!”  That kind of thing. 

Also, famous people get to meet other famous people and there are some famous people I really want to meet, like Elvis Costello, Chris Lilley, and Barack Obama, not necessarily in that order.

Mostly, though, I want to be famous so magazines will contact me (through my publicist of course–because if I were famous I’d have a publicist and I wouldn’t talk to ANYONE directly, not even my own husband) to ask me what my favorite stuff is.  Like which books do I love most.  Or which beauty products I can’t live without.  Or what my favorite restaurant is.  Or my favorite child.  (That one’s easy.)

Sadly, I’m not famous and no one is asking me any of these questions.   But the hell with it: I’m going to go ahead and answer them ANYWAY.  My tree may fall in the forest without a sound, but I’m going to go ahead and chop it down anyway because that’s the sort of self-centered would-be famous person I am.

So here goes: my ten favorite things, in no particular order and because no one asked.  Enjoy.

1.  Pinkberry with chocolate chips and pomegranate seeds.  NOT pomegranate flavor.  Ugh.  But pomegranate seeds and chocolate chips on Pinkberry frozen whateveritis is a small cup of frosty-cold heaven.

2. Neutrogena’s Anti-Wrinkle/Anti-Blemish face wash (or is it vice versa?).  This is my response to the question no fashion magazine has ever asked me, i.e. which beauty product do you swear by?  A dermatologist once told me my skin was younger than my age so either my skin was acting really immaturely or this stuff works.

3.  TiVo.  Ah, TiVo, how I love thee.  I no longer need to know when a show is on or even what channel it’s on.  That’s all irrelevant now that I have my TiVo.  (I actually worked in a little mention of TiVo into my last novel.  I want the world to know its wonders . . . so they won’t stop making them and providing the service.)

4.  My Capresso coffeemaker.  It grinds the beans itself into the filter and then the whole top of the coffee maker shifts over to where the water comes out with this incredibly satisfying “thunk” sound.  It makes good coffee.  Sometimes when I don’t want to get up in the morning, I remind myself I can soon have a cup of that coffee and something chewy and sweet and I’m okay getting up.

5.  Robin Hobb.  Technically a person, not a thing, but the fantasy books she’s written have given me more pleasure than . . . well, I can’t think of a way to finish that sentence without insulting someone in my life, so let’s just say she’s given me a lot of pleasure.  (Her last trilogy was subpar, so if you decide to look her up, go for her early work.)

6.  Fiber One Toaster Pastries.  I grew up loving Pop Tarts, but swore off of them (more or less) as an adult, so I was thrilled to discover that Fiber One now makes a rip-off that’s high in fiber, fairly low in calories, and still coated with the kind of frosting that makes the whole thing sing in your mouth.  Health food?  Not exactly.  But I’ll take it.

7.  A really good Manhattan made by a really good bartender.   Liquid bliss with a maraschino cherry at the end.  I don’t drink these regularly because they feel like vacation to me.

8.  Home delivery of fruits and vegetables.  Once a week, a little farm elf picks up my old box and drops off a new one filled with seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables.   Sunday morning, I open the door and get to see what we’ll be eating for the rest of the week.  No decisions, no shopping.  Love that.

9.  My Hamilton watch.  This is a sad entry.  Years ago, I picked out a mannish watch with an unusual shape and for once in my whole life thought, “I now own the perfect thing.  I’ll never need to buy another one.”  I honestly can’t think of another time I’ve felt that satisfied with something I owned.  Ten years after buying it, I still loved it and admired it on my wrist.   This summer, I lost it.  Or someone stole it.  I’m not sure which.  All I know is, I no longer have the one perfect thing I owned.  Sob.

10.  Annie’s smile.   This one is added under coercion.  The list was only supposed to include small, unimportant, minor joys, but I asked Annie to help me come up with a couple and she started sobbing (okay, fake sobbing) that I wasn’t including my children on the list and that I should have her smile on there . . . so there you go.   The other kids’ smiles are pretty good, too.  They don’t make me a steaming cup of coffee, but they’re a good reason to get up in the morning, anyway.